My rating: 2 of 5 Stars
How I Got It: eBook
Publication Date: January 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Point of View: 1st Person Heroine
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Yes, it's true. Much though I hoped otherwise, Cruel Beauty proved a cruel disappointment. Though it moved along well enough for the first half or so that I was thinking it might turn into a 3 or 4 star read, that ONE plot-twist hit and . . . the whole thing crumbled.
WHAT I LOVED
Well, the world-building was interesting. The trapped-world element was great, the use of Greek mythology handled well enough to make it feel fresh and exciting. I applaud the author's imagination for sure!
Some of the twists and turns of the plot were pretty intriguing. I was curious to see how she would turn her hero into an actual HERO, considering he was set up to be SO bad. That unanswered question kept me turning pages.
The prose was lovely. I never would have guessed this was a debut novel based on the writing itself. It read very assured and confident throughout. And some moments were absolutely beautiful!
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE SO MUCH
Well, this book was almost a DNF for me. I hit that ONE big plot twist ***SPOILERS*** where Nyx, the heroine, after falling in love with the hero, inexplicably agrees to betray and murder him just because her sister asks it of her ***END OF SPOILERS*** and I totally lost interest. It was so CONTRIVED. So unbelievable after everything I'd watched Nyx learn and grow through. I hit that point in the book and simply had NO desire to keep reading.
I forced myself to skim the last quarter of the book. Bleh. I mean, it all turns out HEA enough, but who cares? The characters had lost all credibility as a real people to me.
In all honesty, they never seemed all that real to begin with. Nyx was very static. I could see how the author was trying to make her fleshed-out and unique, but it was almost the MORE she tried the LESS I believed the character. The hero was about as flat at they come, and no amount of stiff banter between them livened him up for me.
That being said, I liked the story and the writing and the world well enough to keep reading and even to enjoy myself. Up until THAT moment. Then I just rolled my eyes and put the book down for a while, before finally forcing myself to finish much later. Just not what you hope for in a read, you know?
I hope your experience with Cruel Beauty is more satisfactory than mine. I do plan to give this author's work another try, because she's obviously very talented.
I am now almost to the end of my Beauty and the Beast Month. Only one more book, Dragon Rose, left to read! Hoping it proves a nice strong ending to the month. The last two books have just not quite lived up to my expectations.
Don't forget to sign up for my mailing list! I will be giving away at least two print books to one lucky subscriber at the end of the month. That winner could be you.